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  • CANSEC 2014 – Visit Elasto Proxy in Booth #935

    CANSEC 2014 - Visit Elasto Proxy

    Clyde Sharpe President of International Sales

    Does your company work with Canada’s defense and security industry? Do you want to reach more of a multi-billion-dollar market that includes defense contractors, security firms, and the Canadian military itself? If you’re ready to build your business and make connections that count, then CANSEC 2014 is the place to be on May 29 and 30. Join Elasto Proxy at the EY Centre in Ottawa and visit us in Booth #935.

    Why Attend CANSEC 2014?

    CANSEC 2104 is Canada's leading military technology tradeshow. This year’s two-day event will span 120,000 square feet of indoor exhibits and include an outdoor display. Held at the Ernst & Young Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, CANSEC provides a place where government buyers and industry suppliers can exchange ideas and discuss the latest defense technologies.

    CANSEC is sponsored by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), a trade organization that includes leading defense contractors such as Bombardier. This year’s event will feature over 250 exhibitors and provide valuable networking opportunities with senior government officials.  A private venue, CANSEC 2014 is open only to CADSI members and government personnel.

    Why Visit Elasto Proxy?

    For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been meeting the needs of the defense and security industry. From experience, we know that Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractorsneed specialized sealing solutions to meet the military’s demands for quality, cost-effectiveness, and performance. In addition to high-quality rubber seals, Elasto Proxy supplies EMI shielding for military electronics, and thermal and acoustic insulation.

    Defense cuts are challenging, but Elasto Proxy believes there are still opportunities for companies who can add value across the supply chain.  For example, because the availability of spare parts is critical, the defense industry needs manufacturers who can make one-off components.  A long-time CADSI member, Elasto Proxy is also the holder of a Controlled Goods Certification (CGC).

    Join the Conversation

    Join Elasto Proxy in Booth #935 as we showcase samples of our high-quality rubber products along with line cards and product catalogs. I’ll be at CANSEC 2014 along with Jason Beattie, Sealing Solutions Provider from our Newmarket, Ontario branch. So bring us your sealing challenges and ask how Elasto Proxy can partner with you to find solutions.

    Even if you can’t attend CANSEC 2014, I hope you’ll comment on this blog entry. Look for a link to it on all of Elasto Proxy’s social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. I hope you’ll subscribeto our e-newsletters, too. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • Pucks, Polymers and Olympic Ice Hockey (Part 2)

    Team Canada Sochi 2014 Women

    Image source: olympics.cbc.ca

    In Part 1 of this series, we examined how polymers are used in hockey skates and sticks. With the Sochi Winter Olympics underway, let’s take a look at hockey protective equipment – and that hard rubber “biscuit” that glides along the ice.

    Elbow Pads and Gloves

    Elbow pads are molded guards that protect a player’s elbow while providing forearm protection. They’re made of a hard, impact-resistant plastic and coated in padded fabric.  Some elbow pads use expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam because it’s lightweight, elastic, and regains its shape when deformed. This is the same foam that’s used in car seats to help protect occupants in a collision.

    Hockey gloves also contain foam, especially the blocker worn by  the goalie. Built with a rectangular foam board, a goaltender’s blocking glove must fit tightly around the hand without causing discomfort or cramping. Blocker gloves may also have foam inserts that fit between the top of the goalie’s hand and the foam board. These inserts cause the board to be angled properly when the goalie faces a shooter.

    Shin Guards and Shoulder Pads

    Shin guards are designed to protect the shins, knees, and calves in Olympic ice hockey. Molded and contoured, this type of hockey protective equipment contains several types of polymers. The front of the shin guard is usually made of a hard plastic and lined with foam padding. High-density (HD) foam, a type of polyurethane that consists of open cells packed tightly together, is often used in the knee extension.

    Hockey shin guards may also contain U-Foam, a rigid two-component urethane foam system. Thigh guards typically contain molded, removable U-Foam. The shin guard’s calf wrap section may contain molded, segmented urethane foam. Other polymeric parts for shin guards include a neoprene lock zone in the knee bed.

    To protect the upper body, hockey players wear padding on critical points of the shoulder, biceps, sternum, shoulder blade, and spine. Known simply as shoulder pads, this type of hockey protective equipment is usually made of a hard, impact-resistant plastic and covered in a padded fabric. Worn under the jersey, they’re bulky but durable.

    The Pucks Stops Here

    Hockey pucks aren’t part of a player’s equipment, but they’re an indispensable part of the game. According to the Olympic organization, these durable disks must be made of vulcanized rubber that’s approved by the International Hockey Federation (IIHG). Predominantly black in color, Olympic hockey pucks are 2.54-cm thick, 7.62-cm in diameter, and must weigh between 156 and 179 g.

    On average, as many as 80 rubber pucks are needed for an Olympic event. Moreover, before each hockey game, the pucks must be frozen in order to reduce friction and limit rebounds off the ice’s surface. In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) follows this same rule – and even specifies that NHL pucks must be kept in a cooler at the penalty bench.

    As with sticks, skates, and protective equipment, material science helps us to understand aspects of Olympic hockey that even some diehard fans don’t know. The reason that frozen hockey pucks bounce less is that rubber’s physical properties change with temperature. When a rubber puck is exposed to low temperatures, it becomes harder and slides better.

    If you’ve ever been hit by a hockey puck, you probably remember how hard a “biscuit” can be. With a hardness of approximately 90 durometer (duro), pucks can move at speeds of more than 150 km/h. So when you watch the world’s greatest hockey players in the Winter Olympics next month, follow that fast-moving puck – and remember it’s not the only polymer in the game.

  • Doing Business in Brazil: Québec Companies and the Rubber and Plastics Industry

    Alliance-Monde_logo_RVB-2-300x193

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Did you know that Québec is home to over 700 companies in the plastics industry? There are also plenty of businesses in the rubber industry, including toolmakers, mixers, suppliers, and distributors. Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) Industrial Material Institute is here, along with leading engineering schools such as Polytechnique Montréal. For polymers, Québec is a world-class center of innovation.

    As the co-founder and co-owner of a Boisbriand company with offices in Ontario, the United States, and China, I’m proud to be part of such a thriving economic sector.  Since our founding in 1989, Elasto Proxy has listened to its partners, analyzing all of their needs before recommending sealing solutions. Today, we provide a full range of custom-fabricated rubber and plastic products to numerous industries.

    Growing Globally in Québec

    To grow globally, Elasto Proxy has participated in the SME Passport program, attended tradeshows in Europe, and participated in trade missions to Brazil. Just as we enjoy sharing our application knowledge and technical expertise with customers, we’re eager to explain what we’ve learned about global markets. That’s why next month, I’ll be part of a panel of rubber and plastics industry experts who will answer questions from Québec companies about doing business abroad.

    Sponsored by Elastomer Valley, CSMO, Canada Economic Development (CED), Export Québec, and the government of Québec, this World Alliance event is scheduled for February 11 and 12. The panel I’ll be part of will meet on Day 1 just after lunch, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM, and focus on doing business in Brazil. With 35 speakers in all, the entire two-day event will also include innovations in the plastic and rubber industry, sales trends, developing markets, and human resources.  Event participants can network with peers and uncover new business opportunities, too.

    Join the Conversation

    Does your company want to increase exports or reach global markets for the first time? What would you like to know about business practices in places like Brazil? Elasto Proxy’s President of International Sales, Clyde Sharpe, visited South America’s largest nation earlier this month, and has some new insights I’ll share in February.

    Do you have questions about doing business in Brazil that can’t wait until then? Then join the conversation today. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has pages on all of these social media websites, so all that’s missing is you. I hope you’ll subscribe to our free e-newsletters, too. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • Pucks, Polymers and Olympic Ice Hockey (Part 1)

    Olympic Hockey

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    What’s your favorite Winter Olympic sport? Do you enjoy watching bobsled and luge runs because of the aerodynamics involved? There’s a fair amount of material science, too, as the engineers at BMW can attest. At Sochi next month, Team USA will race a carbon fiber bobsleigh that was designed by the German automaker.

    Here in Canada, we enjoy all of the Winter Olympic sports, but have a special interest in ice hockey. It’s our national winter sport after all, and Team Canada won the gold medal in 2010. Like bobsledding and the luge, hockey requires speed, strength, and athletic talent. The equipment that hockey players wear must promote performance and provide protection – and that’s where material science hits the ice.

    Hockey Helmets and Helmet Inserts

    As the co-founder and co-owner of a company that custom-fabricates rubber and plastic products, I’m always interested in the role that polymers play. For hockey fans, one of Elasto Proxy’s most interesting projects was custom-fabricating the EVA foam that’s used in hockey helmet inserts. The helmet’s shell itself is made of a lightweight plastic, typically a polycarbonate material.

    Hockey helmets are important, but they’re just one piece of equipment. Players need sticks and skates,  as well as other types of protective gear. The Olympics organization sets the rules for what players can and must wear, so let’s take a look at where else polymers are used. Even with hockey sticks and skates, there’s more than meets the eye.

    Hockey Skates and Hockey Sticks

    Many hockey skates feature a ballistic-proof nylon that provides greater protection against cutting than natural leather, a traditional boot material. Used in the upper boot, this nylon knit is a synthetic polymer that provides water resistance. Nylon is also a thermoplastic – and it’s not the only one used in hockey skates. Today, molded plastic boots with plastic stanchions and plastic tubing are also available.

    According to the Olympic organization’s website, hockey sticks can also be made of plastic as long as the edges are beveled and free of projections. A stick’s curve cannot exceed 1.5-cm, but tape can be applied anywhere on the shaft or the blade. Hockey sticks can be made from other materials, including wood, metal, and Kevlar. Given these options, will we see any plastic hockey sticks at Sochi?

    Hockey Protective Equipment

    In the Part 2 of this series about Olympic ice hockey, we’ll examine how polymers are used in hockey protective equipment: elbow pads, gloves, shin guards, and shoulder pads. We’ll also explore why hockey pucks slide across the ice – and why it hurts so much when you get hit by one.

  • Rubber and Rail Safety – It’s Time to Have a Conversation

    ND Derailment

    Image Source: npr.org

    Clyde Sharpe President of International Sales at Elasto Proxy

    First there was the deadly rail disaster in nearby Lac- Mégantic, Quebec. Then there was the oil spill that spoiled the beaches of Ao Prao, Thailand. A pair of pipeline explosions in Quindao, China devastated sections of that historic city. An oil-train derailment in Gainford, Alberta brought Canadians’ attention back home. Fall turned to winter, and we wondered how Casselton, North Dakota would face the fire.

    The Casselton Oil Train Derailment

    On a cold December afternoon, approximately 20 oil tankers in a mile-long train jumped the tracks near Casselton in southeast North Dakota. The fire that blazed was so intense that first responders couldn’t get close enough to count the damaged rail cars.  Although no one was injured, residents felt the fire’s fury. Explosions on the outskirts of town lasted for hours, shaking homes and businesses.

    When the wind changed direction, meteorologists worried that the plume of smoke from the gigantic fireball could engulf the community. The North Dakota Department of Health warned that exposure to burning crude oil could cause coughing, shortness of breath, and itching or watery eyes. Residents with asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema were advised to stay indoors.

    North American Rail Safety

    As the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) began investigating this latest oil train incident, the mayor of Casselton reminded reporters that “numerous derailments” have occurred in North Dakota, America’s No. 2 oil-producing state. “It’s almost gotten to the point that it looks like not if we’re going to have an accident, it’s when,” said Mayor Ed McConnell.

    Temperatures plummeted as McConnell made his case that it’s time to “have a conversation” about the dangers of transporting oil by rail. Even by North Dakota standards, it’s been a hard winter. Canadians aren’t strangers to the cold, of course, and many of us share Mayor McConnell’s concerns about rail safety. From Lac-Megantic to Gainford and now to Casselton, oil trains are a North American issue.

    A Role for Rubber

    Safety doesn’t end at the shoreline, however. Just ask the residents of Ao Prao, Thailand and Quindao, China – and other parts of the world where oil spills and petroleum pipeline explosions have claimed lives and damaged ecosystems. What is the safest way to transport oil? Is there an acceptable rate of failure? As long as petroleum powers industrial production, are oil spills inevitable?

    As a supplier of sealing solutions to global markets, Elasto Proxy will continue to ask about a role for rubber in promoting rail safety and pipeline safety. Throughout 2013, we covered both of these issues and even suggested a role for rubber bladders on rail cars. We also blogged about service temperatures, and how extremely cold temperatures in places like North Dakota affects rubber’s properties.

    Join the Conversation

    We agree with Casselton’s Mayor, Ed McConnell, that it’s time “have a conversation” about petroleum shipments and rail safety. Will you join the conversation, too? Look for my post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has pages on all of these social media websites, so all that’s missing is you.

    I hope you’ll subscribe to our free e-newsletters, too. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • Will You Run the Race? Elasto Proxy Supports Healthy Lifestyles

    Beth Running Elasto ProxyClyde Sharpe President of International Sales

    Beth Branyon used to play softball. Today, she’s directing her competitive energy in different ways.  Recently, the Customer Service Representative at Elasto Proxy’s office in Simpsonville, South Carolina finished second in her age group in a road race. The Furman Flatlander 5K was “a beautiful run on a beautiful day”, Beth says, with a loop around the lake on the campus of nearby Furman University in Greenville.

    Cheered on by her husband, who encouraged her to stay after the race to see how she’d done, Beth was pleased with the results of her run. “I knew there weren’t many people in front of me,” she explains, but her second-place finish was still a nice surprise. Beth had been running for only a year, since the spring of 2012. Now she’s training for another 5K race in January, a 10K in in April, and hoping to compete in a half-marathon by this time next year.

    From Couch to 5K to Half-Marathon

    Beth’s dedication is extraordinary – and inspiring. Her journey from softball player to competitive runner didn’t happen overnight, and involved some lifestyle changes. The Couch to 5K Running Plan that she followed eases beginners into a training program, but that’s doesn’t mean the regimen is easy. Would-be runners must find the time to exercise and the willpower to pound the pavement instead of reaching for fast food or junk food.

    Training for a race also means working out when the weather is less than ideal. South Carolina isn’t always warm, and temperatures can fall to 20° F on winter nights. That’s when Beth stays indoors and runs on a treadmill instead. Here at Elasto Proxy headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada, we know something about cold-weather conditions, too. Many of us played hockey instead of softball, but we’re now running to compete – if only against ourselves.

    Two Mountains and Zero Five Thirty

    Last June, Elasto Proxy employees participated in Défi Deux-Montagnes (Two Mountains Challenge), a local footrace that lets participants run or walk a distance of their choice.  With courses ranging from shorter 1K and 2K sprints to longer 5K and 10K runs, this fun-filled event helped Elasto Proxy to promote our goal of healthy lifestyles for employees. Although it’s not even January yet, we’re looking forward to running the Two Mountains Challenge again in the summer of 2014.

    In the meantime, we’ll continue to train hard and make healthy choices. Each day, some of us go running at lunchtime. When it’s time for a snack, the refrigerator in Elasto Proxy’s Boisbriand cafeteria has oranges, plums, and bananas – all healthy alternatives to vending machine fare.  The “Zero Five Thirty” initiative in Quebec makes great sense. That’s zero tobacco, five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and thirty minutes of daily exercise.

    Join the Conversation

    What are your goals for 2014? The New Year is still a few weeks away, but it’s never too early to think about your health, or what your company can do to promote healthy lifestyles among employees. We’ve shared some experiences that we think can help, and congratulate Beth Branyon and other Elasto Proxy employees for their achievements in 2013

    Look for my post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has pages on all of these social media websites, so all that’s missing is you. I also hope you’ll subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, with links to blog entries like this one.

  • Moon Cakes and Trade Missions to China

    Moon Cakes Autumn Festival

    Image source: oregonlive.com

    Andrew Yang Sales Representative for Elasto Proxy

    China’s Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the harvest and reunites families and friends under a bright, silvery moon. In ancient times, members of the country’s various ethnic groups worshipped this fullest moon of the year and held nighttime ceremonies to greet the coming winter. Today, people break from their busy routines to give thanks and remember those who are far from home. While gazing at the mid-autumn moonlight, we wish the very best to those who cannot be with us.

    Dynasties and Traditions

    Like our Chinese New Year celebration, the Mid-Autumn Festival is rich in tradition and rooted in China’s dynastic past. Beginning with the ancient Xia and Shang Dynasties (2000 B.C. to 1066 B.C) and through the Zhou Dynasty (1066 B.C. to 221 B.C.), China’s altar was the nighttime sky. Observance of the Moon Festival grew during the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.) and blossomed during both the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 A.D.) and the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911 A.D.).

    During the time of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279 A.D.), the Mid-Autumn Festival added a culinary custom that continues today.  To express their fondest wishes for a joyous family reunion, celebrants began sending moon-shaped cakes to each another.  Measuring three inches in diameter and a half-inch thick, these sweet treats resemble Western fruitcakes in taste and consistency.  Ingredients typically include melon seeds, lotus seeds, almonds, minced meats, bean paste, orange peels, eggs, and lard.

    Family and Country

    According to legend, these delicious pastries also served a national purpose. During the Yuan Dynasty (1280 to 1368 A.D.), China rebelled against Mongolian rule. To avoid detection and share battle plans, rebel leaders sent messages hidden in cakes as the Mid-Autumn Festival drew near. Under the light of the year’s brightest moon, the rebels then executed their plan of attack and overthrew the invaders. Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this victory and to honor family members.

    Modern moon cakes come in various shapes and sizes, but traditional pastries usually include a salted duck egg at the center of the cake. Each pastry’s golden-brown crust is decorated with symbols of the Mid-Autumn Festival, and 13 pastries are piled in a pyramid to represent the 13 moons of the Chinese year. With so many delicious cakes to enjoy and share, the Moon Festival is a time for celebration that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar.

    From Cakes to Conferences

    As many readers know, autumn is also an important time for tradeshows and business meetings. This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival ended on September 19, but October also promises to be an exciting month.

    As Elasto Proxy’s sales representative in China, I look forward to traveling to Shanghai and Jinan as part of a trade delegation on October 14. Along with the Chinese government and Export Quebec, I’ll be meeting with forward-thinking companies, attending various seminars, and sharing how Elasto Proxy provides high-quality sealing solutions to a variety of industries.

    On behalf of Elasto Proxy, I hope that all who celebrated the recent Mid-Autumn Festival enjoyed their time with family and friends, and will enjoy luck and prosperity in the year to come. To learn more about how Elasto Proxy meets sealing challenges (or just to discuss moon cakes!), please feel free to email me at ayang@elastoproxy.com.

  • Elasto Proxy Employees Become Lean, Mean, Learning Machines

    CSMO

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Lean manufacturing is a set of production practices that seeks to eliminate waste and deliver quality products on-time, at the lowest production costs, and according to customer needs. According to lean thinking, waste refers to any activity that does not add value. Examples include overproduction, idle time, unnecessary movement, product defects, and failing to utilize people to their fullest abilities. By minimizing waste and maximizing customer value, any organization can improve its bottom line.

    Why Learn About Lean?

    As a custom fabricator of high-value, low-volume rubber and plastic components, Elasto Proxy is eager to learn all it can about lean. We’re not lean experts, of course, but we’re investing our time and talents to educate our employees about lean thinking. This year, two of our team leaders will learn about lean manufacturing to boost Elasto Proxy’s efficiency and strengthen our business model. What Alain Leblanc and Elaine Bergeron gain from CSMO Caoutchouc will help both our company and our customers.

    How CSMO Caoutchouc Helps

    Here in Quebéc, where Elasto Proxy is headquartered, CSMO Caoutchouc is dedicated to developing a world-class workforce in the province’s rubber industry. Like other Elasto Proxy employees, Alain and Elaine have taken CSMO Caoutchouc coursework before. “General Training on the Processing” of rubber provides an excellent introduction to our industry, and features modules such as vulcanization, injection molding, and extrusion methods. For companies that need advanced training, CSMO Caoutchouc also provides in-depth and specialized instruction.

    Supervisor Training in Lean Manufacturing

    The course that Alain and Elaine will now take, “Supervisor Training in Lean Manufacturing,” spans eight sessions and ends in June. Each session lasts for eight hours, and provides students with an opportunity to interact with instructors who are informative, engaging, and ready to provide real-world examples of lean manufacturing. Although 6 of the 8 sessions will be held in hotel conference rooms, there are two on-site visits. Elasto Proxy will host one of these sessions, and we look forward to this opportunity.

    Molding  Lean Managers  

    Elaine has never learned about lean before, and Alain studied it briefly while at CEGEP, our system of post-secondary education in Quebec. Thanks to CSMO Caoutchouc, however, both will participate in informative, interactive sessions that include leadership training, continuous improvement, and lean strategies for management. Through coaching, role-playing, and problem solving, Elaine and Alain will learn about more than just machine-based efficiency.

    How to Talk Lean

    Lean manufacturing involves communication, both between first-level supervisors and company managers, and between team leaders and their employees. To eliminate waste and maximize customer value, all members of an organization must be willing to suggest improvements – and managers must be willing to listen. Internal communication can be easy to overlook, but is vitally important.

    For over 20 years, Elasto Proxy has promised to fully understand the needs of our partners and deliver on them. As Elaine and Alan now learn about lean manufacturing, we look forward to listening to their ideas so that Elasto Proxy can build a better company and strengthen its commitment to customers.

  • Brazil is Open for Business

    Doing Business in Brazil Doing Business in Brazil

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Recently, my wife Donna and I visited Brazil as part of a trade mission from Elastomer Valley, a group of Québec-based businesses who have joined forces to pursue economic development opportunities.  As the co-founders and co-owners of a growing manufacturing company with offices in Canada, the United States, and China, we enjoyed our first trip to Latin America.

    Brazil is a vast and vibrant country with abundant natural resources and great human talent. It also boasts the world’s sixth largest economy and is Canada’s ninth largest trading partner. For Elasto Proxy, accessing the Brazilian market is a key part of our plan to increase exports of our custom-fabricated rubber and plastic components.

    As one of just six Elastomer Valley companies that traveled to Brazil, Elasto Proxy benefited from business meetings scheduled by the Québec Government Office in São Paulo. Since March 2008, Québec’s office in Brazil’s largest city has been helping businesses like ours to form relationships with potential partners. Group events included presentations from international lawyers and customs brokers.

    By focusing on vehicle parts and plastics, the Elastomer Valley trade mission provided Elasto Proxy with valuable opportunities to promote our application knowledge and experience in these areas. Our meetings with potential partners who produce tractors, trucks, buses, defense vehicles, and mobile vehicles were especially important, as these are industries we have served for many years.

    All of the Brazilian businesses that we met with appreciated the quality of our work and how Elasto Proxy strengthens supply chains by manufacturing small quantities of custom rubber and plastic parts. Since many of these Brazilian companies are subsidiaries of North American and European entities, they already have vendors for high-volume production runs. Elasto Proxy’s ability to produce high-value, low-volume seals and gaskets captured their attention, however, and helped lay a foundation for the future.

    Sealing solutions for specialty mobile vehicles, tractor and bus manufacturers, and defense applications weren’t all that we discussed, however. Doing business in Brazil is a social affair, with customs and routines that are more similar to those in Europe than in China. Personal connections develop alongside business relationships in Brazil, and we enjoyed getting to know our potential partners.

    Brazil is open for business, as Elasto Proxy saw firsthand during the first of two planned trips there. We look forward to returning to São Paulo, as part of the SME Passport program in 2013, and encourage you to ask us questions about our trip by commenting on this blog entry. Brazil’s economy is booming, and Elasto Proxy is eager to share what we’ve learned.

  • Elasto Proxy Attends Congress of Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec

    Quebec Quebec

    By Doug Sharpe

    President, Elasto Proxy

    Last week, Elasto Proxy attended a very special meeting of the Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec at the Fairmont Tremblant in scenic Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Along with my wife Donna, a co-founder of Elasto Proxy, I was joined by Clyde Sharpe, our President of International Sales, at the Group’s annual Congress on November 2nd and 3rd. Created by a handful of entrepreneurs 37 years ago, the Group now includes 1800 leaders and aspiring leaders of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) from more than 235 clubs across Québec, New Brunswick, Belgium, and Switzerland.

    Doing Business in Quebec and Beyond - The Congress of Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec

    As the Group’s Founding President, Marcel Bundock, explains, this innovative business network enables business leaders to “break the isolation” by connecting with peers. By sharing experiences and learning from others, SMEs like Elasto Proxy can identify best practices and gain important insights. The life cycle of an entrepreneur has multiple stages, so knowing where you stand today is the first step in planning a more profitable path toward tomorrow. Each entrepreneur has particular strengths and weaknesses, of course, so it’s critical to seek sound advice. For Elasto Proxy, the Group has been a source of wisdom.

    This year, the Congress featured dynamic speakers from both inside and outside of the Group. Anne Marcotte, the host and producer of VoirGRAND.tv, delivered an especially powerful testimonial. As Anne explains, “Few people would have bet on me. No condition played in my favor – neither studies nor an environment that helped me to go after my dreams”.  Today, however, the founder of Marcotte Multimedia regularly inspires viewers of VoirGRAND.tv with both her personal history and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.  Thank you, Anne, for participating in the Group and sharing your story!

    The Congress also met with the current and 22nd president of the Group, Lisa Fecteau, whose theme has been “See GREAT with confidence”.  By helping SMEs like Elasto Proxy to expand our vision, achieve our potential, and do great things, the Groupement des chefs d’enterprise du Québec is inspiring and empowering business leaders to embrace today’s challenges and find tomorrow’s opportunities.

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